Technology Reports:

TV Technology Roundup

TechReport (UK)

Connection Box

Until recently, all mid to large screen TVs had all their control electronics and connections built into their main chassis (some smaller TVs used an external ‘brick’ power supply, simply due to the difficulty in finding space for this within the limited volume available within a modern small flat screen TV).

The latest trend, however, is to place the main signal processing and connections (e.g. HDMI, aerial connections etc.) in an external box and connecting back to the main TV via a special cable:

The main advantages in doing this are basically two-fold:

Ease of Connection:

It has always been difficult to fit and make connections to a modern very thin TV chassis when wall-


Incorporating the connectors into the back / side of ever slimmer TV sets is becoming more and more

difficult, then there is the problem for the owner of reaching in to fit the cables in a very cramped space and

it is also likely that this will create a (very visible) mess of cables behind the TV.


In the past, once you had bought your TV, there was no way of ‘upgrading’ it, other than the basic ‘firmware’

upgrade cycle (which is normally more about fixing bugs than anything else).

By putting the main TV processing in an external box, manufacturers can offer the opportunity for customers

to buy a new box to upgrade their existing TV without having to invest in an entirely new product (whilst

adding to the manufacturer’s profits, naturally!).

Of course, using an external box can have its downsides too. The issue of making connections to the back of the TV is not so great for stand mounted TVs anyway, plus the external box ideally needs to be located somewhere out of sight, otherwise it can look rather messy.

Overall, however, the use of an external connection box for a wall-mounted TV does bring clear benefits, although if mounting the TV on a stand these would not be as clear cut.

Next: Audio Enhancements

Back to TV Technology Roundup